—MT PLEASANT MAYOR—
(Reduce field to two candidates)
(L-R): Russel Keisel, Jeff McDonald, Mike Olsen, Dan Simons.
Mayor Michael Olsen says his passion to serve others and his community were the driving factors in his decision to seek re-election.
Olsen has been the maintenance coordinator at Sanpete Valley Hospital for over 20 years. He is also a contractor, real estate investor and farmer.
Michael was born and raised in Mt. Pleasant and has lived here his whole life. He and his wife, Margo, have five children and eight grandchildren.
One of Michael’s priorities is open communication between the city and its citizens. During the past two years he has worked on water issues, irrigation and culinary; re-implemented impact fees to assist with new water development; built roads with new-age technology to ensure longer life and lower cost of maintenance; and addressed city rights-of-ways along to property along roads remains clean.
He says it is important to for people to know what struggles the city is going through so they have the willingness to help the city council make decisions to move forward.
Dan Simons was raised in Mt Pleasant and served in the U.S. Army from 1975-81. After that, he worked for the U.S. Postal Service, retiring as a postmaster in March 2021.
Simons says, “The city of Mt. Pleasant needs a mayor who will work full-time for the citizens of the community. I have served two terms on the city council, which has given me experience in municipal budgets, personnel and city operations. I will ensure our tax dollars are used wisely and the impact of taxes does not become a burden on the citizens.
“I will keep the public informed through many avenues about the projects the city is working on, and will listen to all residents to ensure that any concerns or recommendations are addressed in a timely manner.”
He says the condition of city streets had been talked about for many years. “I will get a plan put into place to start addressing this issue,” he says.
Russell (Bull) Keisel
In 1973 Russell married Kathi Pehrson and together raised two children, Shane and Shanan. He has lived in Mt. Pleasant since 1969. He is retired from the military, where he served in Vietnam and Desert Storm and held many leadership positions.
Keisel also spent 30 years coaching at North Sanpete High and working for Utah Power and Light as a journeyman mechanic. He was a general contractor for a time in Sanpete, Utah and Salt Lake counties.
Keisel says, “I have been serving as councilman for a little over two years…I believe having done all these jobs in my life will help me do what needs to be done as mayor over the next few years as we build the infrastructure needed to serve Mt. Pleasant.”
He said his experiences would also help him “to direct and help our great administrative office, Power and Public Works Department employees.”
Jeff McDonald has lived in Mt. Pleasant for 24 years. He and his wife, Geniel, have been married for 40 years, and have three children and 11 grandchildren.
McDonald has been self-employed for over 33 years. He previously served a four-year term on the city council and has been a delegate to the state and county Republican conventions for many years. He has attended training classes offered by the Utah League of Cities & Towns as well as classes on the U.S. Constitution.
McDonald says he will “do his best to serve with true conservative values and principles…to help preserve our country way of life here in Mt. Pleasant.”
He believes in lower taxes, less government regulation, less spending and a free market. He says he will work hard, and serve with respect, and integrity.
—MT PLEASANT COUNCIL—
(2 Seats for 4-Year Term)
(L-R): Lynn Beesley, Diane Blackham, Mark Hightower, Paul Madsen, Robert Marx, Donalyn Shock
Dianne Blackham has lived in Mt. Pleasant Utah for 37 years. A Snow College graduate, she has served as a volunteer focusing on the arts, recreation and beautification.
Blackham says she would like checks and balances between the branches of (city) government. She wants job interviews before hiring people and job evaluations to keep a city job. Increases in wages should be based on city income and the value of each job.
Blackham says she knows what it feels like to be like to be harmed in the house of friends, and she would like revisions to city policy and procedures, especially related to accusations of sexual harassment.
She says. “I am not afraid of work or service. I am willing to help fix this city.”
Donalyn L. Shock
Donalyn Shock and her husband, Corey, chose Mt. Pleasant as the place to raise their family in 1999. They have raised five children and have five grandchildren. She has worked as a paraprofessional for North Sanpete School District for the last 12 years.
She says her father’s emphasis on preserving our American freedom and protecting our rights has been a guiding light in her value system.
Beginning at a young age, she worked in her family’s businesses and learned how to manage all aspects of a business.
“I am grateful for the life that Mt. Pleasant have provided for me and my family,” Shock says. “…I feel like now is the time in my life that I can give back to the community.
“I believe that understanding both sides of issues, and weighing out the consequences of our decisions for this city will be crucial over the next term. I’m willing to do the work and to make the best choices with transparency and honesty.”
Lynn Beesley believes that his years of experience in construction and as a current public works employee qualify him as a candidate for city council.
Beesley was involved in the initial sewer system, connecting and installing various water and sewer lines throughout the city.
Employed by Skyline Mine for over 32 years, Beesley had the opportunity to lead and oversee his own crew and worked closely with upper management to make sure projects were completed and timely. He attended various leadership trainings and gained a lot of knowledge about creating a pleasant work environment that is suitable for everyone.
“My mother was born and raised here, as were my grandparents,” he says. “I raised my own family here, and it’s where my nine grandchildren are being raised. I see the potential that lies within my home town and I would love the opportunity to serve, to improve and to preserve our city.”
Paul Chesley Madsen was born and raised in Mt. Pleasant. He married Renee Terry. They have six children and 19 grandchildren.
Madsen served in the Utah National Guard 1457th Engineer Battalion for 24 years. He also worked in the construction industry on roads, highways, sewer and water projects as a foreman and superintendent.
Madsen served on the city council prior to his military deployment. While on the council, he planned and developed the Mt Pleasant City/North Sanpete ball complex with other volunteers. It was later dedicated as the Paul Madsen Park.
In 2018, Madsen was temporarily hired to oversee the Public Works Department. After the position was filled, he continued working part time doing special projects, saving taxpayers thousands of dollars.
Madsen has a deep passion for his beloved hometown. He wants to see good infrastructure and maintenance, especially in the areas of roads, irrigation and culinary water.
Robert A. Marx
Robert Marx was born and raised in Mt Pleasant City, the youngest of five children. He graduated from Wyoming Technical Institute and served in the Army National Guard for 25 years, retiring in 1998 as a master sergeant.
He joined Lockheed Martin as a field service engineer managing military projects until his retirement in 2015.
Marx has traveled the world, but Mt Pleasant has always been his home. He and his wife, Kathryn, have four children, 17 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Marx says, “I was raised to respect civic involvement. My service at home and abroad has only deepened my love of this country. Political divisiveness damages communities. Communities must come together with a diversity of opinions rather than despite them.”
Marx is passionate about combining growth with preservation of the lifestyle in Mt. Pleasant. He says, “While we have often faced drought conditions, the recent pandemic has opened remote working options that allow many more to seek a home in our city than ever before. Our growth is no longer restricted to the ability of the city to provide employment.”
Mark Hightower has called Mt. Pleasant home since 2013. He purchased a historic home a short walk from city hall in 2017. He and his wife Wendy have five children.
In 2014, he started the city youth track and field program, where he has coached many North Sanpete kids as they prepared to compete at the high school level. He has also volunteered as a track coach at the high school the last six years.
Hightower joined the Mt. Pleasant City Fire Department five years ago and remains an active member.
He believes in maintaining the historic character of our small town, while managing the inevitable growth that is coming, and helping to guide that growth in an organized manner.
“The growth will still happen whether or not it is managed,” he says. “If not managed, it will grow in an unorganized and haphazard way which will hurt the community. Growth unorganized is chaos.”